Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is known these days as a staunch backer of President Donald Trump. The president appeared at a large rally for Cruz in his 2018 re-election campaign, Cruz authored Trump’s entry in Time‘s “100 Most Influential People” issue last year, and Cruz regularly defends the president on the floor of the Senate and in committee hearings.
But in 2016, the two men were bitter rivals, as both were leading contenders for the GOP’s presidential nomination. And Trump, infamously, both disparaged the looks of Cruz’s wife and implied that the senator’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Now, a new book says Cruz was upset during the 2016 election that Fox News appeared to be favoring Trump.
Per The Guardian, a new book claims that Cruz believed during the primaries that Trump was “actively assisted by Fox News and its late chief Roger Ailes.”
In the Tim Alberta’s book, American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump, Alberta reports that Cruz “exploded” after he won the Wisconsin primary in April of 2016. The senator, watching Fox News after the victory, screamed an expletive after hearing the pro-Trump host Sean Hannity talk about Trump’s expected strength in the primaries that were then upcoming, rather than talk about his win.
Cruz and Ailes were at one point close, the book says, but the executive “cut himself off from Cruz” during the campaign.
I actually agree with @tedcruz on something...— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) July 9, 2019
“History isn’t kind to the man who holds Mussolini’s jacket,” he said about supporting Trump in 2016. History won't be kind to Cruz.https://t.co/K7xYkZVkml
Trump was sometimes at odds with Fox News in the early part of the 2016 race, and after he sparred with Megan Kelly in an early Fox-hosted primary debate, the candidate skipped the debate the next time Fox hosted one. But Trump and Fox were on better terms once he emerged as the clear favorite in the GOP field, and after Ailes, the network’s longtime chief, departed the network amid harassment accusations in the summer of 2016, he even assisted Trump in debate prep.
Ailes passed away in early 2017, and per Alberta’s book, Cruz speculated that Trump’s election to the presidency was the former newsman’s “dying wish.”
Trump and Fox have mostly gotten along throughout his presidency, although the president, per The Inquisitr, sent a series of tweets over the weekend in which he complained that the network was “changing fast” and complaining that they had been hosting town halls for Democratic presidential candidates while also sometimes citing reports by The New York Times.